CHEERS TO various news organizations for providing background reports on the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) instead of the usual day-to-day coverage of the revived issue.

Pending a bill at the House of Representatives, the government is studying if commissioning the BNPP can boost the country’s energy-generating capacity. Kelvin Rodolfo, a professor emeritus at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the University of Illinois, and an adjunct professor at the National Institute of Geological Sciences of the University of the Philippines, provided in his column at The Philippine Star a history as well as analysis of the plant’s construction, a project of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Rodolfo showed that commissioning the BNPP would be a high risk project as it severely violated international safety standards. The four-part report discussed the scientists’ findings which said the plant was built hastily and is unsafe because of the possibility of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The report also mentioned the problems of storing or discarding nuclear waste as well as its financial pitfalls (“Star Science”; “The geological hazards of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant”; Feb. 19, Feb. 26, Mar. 5, and Mar. 12)

Bulatlat.com published a related article, “Revival (sic) of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant a Source of Corruption” (Jan. 31). Interviewing several experts, Bulatlat said the BNPP is defective and would be costly to operate. The report added that commissioning the plant would not solve the energy crisis and suggested that the government should instead focus on harnessing indigenous and sustainable energy resources.

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